Thursday, March 5, 2009

Will Ports America Group Line up at National Infrastructure Bank Window?

The Port of Oakland negotiated a public-private infrastructure partnership with Ports America Group (PAG). Ports America is controlled by private equity underwriter HighStar Capital, seeded with AIG money. If HighStar gets funds from President Obama's National Infrastructure Bank, will PAG double dip in taxpayer green, NIB funds and AIG money (80% owned by citizens)? Will they access Treasury money to buy back PAG debt for pennies on the dollar? Congress gave firms like that a $25 billion tax break. Not far behind HighStar is Macquarie, the Australian private equity infrastructure player.